Mail Order Bride: Behind The Scenes Of The Movie And Actual Industry

Mail Order Bride is a movie inspired by the popular industry. What is this movie about? How does the whole industry work? Learn here!

Mail order bride 2008

“Mail order bride” is a western movie released in 2008. Diana McQueen gets money by pickpocketing, but when she has had enough, she decides to leave her boss Tom Rourke and escape. Diana visits her close friend Jen struggling with tuberculosis and discovers that she has a penfriend and dreams of marrying him. But the poor girl soon dies and Diana decides to take her place as mail order bride and goes West to her man.

Events of the movie take place a few centuries ago and represent the whole phenomenon of finding love distantly. Of course, now everything works differently. Below, you’ll find out about the modern mail order brides industry and its parallels with the film, so keep on reading!

  • IMDB Rating: 5.5/10
  • Director: Anne Wheeler
  • Cast: Daphne Zuniga, Greg Evigan, Cameron Bancroft, Tom Heaton, Katharine Isabelle
  • Country: United States

History of mail order brides: How it all started

Everything started with the colonization of America in the 1600th when men who settled down on new lands had to search for mail order brides who would like to move there. Leaders of colonies informed people that they were looking for young, pretty, educated ladies willing to live in the New World through advertisements in newspapers. Later, this method of seeking potential wives spread to other regions and became really popular in the 1800 and 1900th.

As was shown in the “Mail order bride” movie, guys from the West wrote letters to magazines and even churches to attract girls from the East and other parts of the USA. Men and women put photos into their envelopes and communicated through text. They wrote about their interests, skills, and feelings. After months of communication, they even decided to marry without meeting each other in person before, just like Jen agreed to become Baue’s wife. 

In 1990th, everything changed with the rise of online dating. Now, singles can use mail order bride sites to find partners across the world.

Why do western men get mail order wives & what are the women’s motivations?

Normally, every person has their reasons for seeking a partner elsewhere. But first, let’s take a look at the positives and negatives of mail order brides.


  • Using international dating sites is more effective than traveling to another country and looking for someone special there.
  • You can meet foreign women from any region of the world.
  • A mail order bride is focused on serious relationships, not casual dating.
  • Mixed marriages are strong as both spouses value the path and effort they made to find each other.
  • Ladies searching for husbands overseas are beautiful and they take care of their appearance.
  • The courting period is shorter than when you date someone in real life because in most cases men and women are focused on starting a family in the nearest future.
  • You may learn more about other cultures and traditions.
  • Your mail order wife can be much younger than you.


  • Couples sometimes face a language barrier.
  • You’ll have to spend money on visiting your foreign bride.
  • Cultural differences may affect your relationship.

Now, it’s time to figure out why men and ladies decide to use international dating sites and look for partners from abroad. Following the plotline, Jen became a mail order bride because she strived to change her life and find happiness. Interestingly, it’s one of the reasons why foreign women dream of finding husbands overseas. However, there are more aspects you need to know, so check out other motivations:

  • Mail order brides are attracted by western men. They like well-dressed, confident guys who know how to court a girl and impress her. These females believe that a boyfriend from abroad will be a good companion.
  • Ladies strive to start a family. They couldn’t find a reliable boyfriend with serious intentions in their homeland, and that’s why they decided to try their luck on online dating sites.
  • Foreign brides are searching for better opportunities. Unfortunately, many Latin women and girls from Asian countries have seen the face of poverty and they desire to change something in their lives. Finding a husband from a developed country is the best option to start a new chapter.
  • Mail order wives dream of romantic adventures. Lots of girls dream of meeting a partner overseas and having a beautiful love story they can tell to their kids in the future.
  • Those females want to escape social pressure and gender inequality issues. In many regions, women have to cope with lots of things that remain unfair in different spheres. For example, a high unemployment rate, smaller salaries, family roles, and other factors affect their lives. Mail order marriages are an excellent solution for them as they can settle down in a country with better conditions.

Western men are looking for a foreign wife for the following reasons:

  • They strive to meet a girl of a particular type. Whether you want to find Eastern European women or Latin mail order brides, you just need to pick an international dating site with the appropriate audience.
  • These guys are interested in serious relationships. As it’s been said earlier, real mail order brides are focused on starting a family, which is a wonderful variant for those seeking a potential spouse.
  • They want to have wives with stunning appearance. Just look at ladies on a mail order brides site, and you’ll understand why a man might seek a partner abroad. Those women look extremely beautiful and it’s obvious that they invest their time and money into looking good.
  • Foreigners are searching for well-educated girls with traditional family values. Many females from Eastern European countries, Asia, and Latin America are intelligent and willing to marry and have kids.

These are the most common reasons why western men and foreign mail order brides pick partners from abroad. Of course, their main purpose is to find real love.

Types of mail order brides: Age and origin

When using online dating services, you can meet the best mail order brides of different ages from a variety of countries. Find out more about these aspects next!

Types of mail order brides

Average age of mail order brides

Typically, girls who are at least 18 years old are registered on mail order bride sites. Let’s research the female member age structure and their goals on those platforms:

  • 18–24. These young foreign brides have an adventurous spirit and they’re curious about what it’s like to have a boyfriend from abroad. Of course, they dream of romance and don’t mind dating distantly as they believe that nowadays it’s not a problem due to a range of cutting-edge communication tools.
  • 24–35. Women seeking partners through online dating services have a higher education and started building a career. Some of them have already achieved a certain success at work, and now, they’re ready to take care of their private lives. A mail order bride of this age wants to have a serious relationship with a reliable guy who would also want the same. Moving to another country isn’t a problem for her as she’s focused on marriage.
  • 35–45. These pretty foreign women know what they want from life and they’re totally ready for family life. They’re seeking a financially stable man who understands that he has to take care of his wife and kids. Of course, it doesn’t mean that mail order brides won’t go to work. They just strive to have responsible husbands prepared for adult life. For instance, in the movie, Diana was in her late 30s, and she was smart, hard-working, and attractive.
  • 45–50+. Ladies are looking for meaningful communication with an interesting man. These mail order brides believe that people of any age need to be loved and they want to have all those wonderful feelings. Some of them can be divorced or widowed, but they’re ready for changes.

As you can see, you may find mail order brides who are younger or even older than you. Everything depends on your preferences if you have some.

Most popular mail order bride nations

When it comes to the nationality of overseas brides, the choice is huge. Here are the most popular regions represented on international dating platforms:

  • Eastern Europe. Slavic beauty has always been highly praised, but local mail order wives have many other features. They have traditional family values, respect for their partners, and good manners. Moreover, they’re intelligent and open-minded, which means that building a relationship with a man from abroad is acceptable for them. Ukrainian mail order brides are extremely popular on online dating sites, but you can also find Polish, Czech Republic, and Slovakian women and females from other Eastern European countries.
  • Latin America. Of course, you’ve probably heard about the gorgeous appearance and passionate nature of a mail order bride from this region. Moreover, a local girl stands out from the crowd with her charismatic character, intelligence, and kindness. The most desirable Latin women are from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Venezuela.
  • Asia. The area is rich in unique traditions and pretty ladies. An Asian mail order bride is calm, wise, and polite. Her manners won’t allow her to hurt another person with a word or action. Besides, she’ll never make scenes in public and she won’t do anything that can harm your reputation. Asian women take care of their husbands and closest people, setting their needs as a priority. The most popular girls live in the Philippines, China, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam, but you can look for more mail order brides in other Asian countries.

Of course, you may face cultural differences with a mail order wife, and your view of a relationship can be controversial to hers. However, you should remember that in the movie, Diana and Baue were Americans and belonged to the same culture. But their values, lifestyles, and interests weren’t the same. Such a contrast even increased the chemistry between them and both managed to become better people under the influence of each other.

How to order a mail order bride?

Seeking a foreign wife online on mail order bride sites is effective and pretty easy. Of course, it may take some time, but you’ll enjoy the process for sure, whether you want to find a Ukrainian mail order wife or girls from Asian countries. Here are the steps to achieve success on international dating services:

  1. Pick a female audience. Discover the main characteristics of mail order brides of different nationalities to figure out who has features you’d like to see in your partner. You should also pay attention to their view of the relationship and other aspects important to you.
  2. Monitor the niche to find a trustworthy online dating site. Check out reviews to learn more about other users’ experiences with particular mail order bride sites and what experts say about the offered options, safety, profile quality, etc.
  3. Register and create a profile. To get foreign brides interested, it’s necessary to share some information about yourself. Tell about your best personality traits and exciting hobbies you have. Another thing you should do is upload a photo of yourself. Choose the one capturing only you without your friends or other people.
  4. Specify your search requirements. Mail order brides websites allow members to choose different parameters to help them meet the best compatible matches. Depending on the presented filters, you can choose a location, age range, personality traits, interests, and physical qualities.
  5. Start communicating. To find mail order brides, you shouldn’t waste time hesitating. Take initiative and send messages to ladies. Additionally, you may use virtual gifts, stickers, and other features on a dating site.
  6. Develop your relationship. Once you meet a foreign mail order bride who attracts you a lot, think about courting and strengthening your relationship. Send her flowers and gifts, arrange video dates, and try different ways to impress her.
  7. Visit your girlfriend. It doesn’t matter if you date Ukrainian women or Asian brides because you’ll have to see each other in real life to figure out whether you met a perfect match. Of course, you might need to go on a trip a few times, but it’s necessary to do to choose the right person.
  8. Marry your sweetheart. Follow all the regulations connected with bringing your partner from abroad to the USA and becoming spouses officially. Legit mail order brides must get a K-1 visa so that they have a wedding within 90 days in America.

Those interested in marrying foreign women should dedicate time to searching for a wife on a dating site. Virtual communication using a mail order bride service may last for a few months as well as seeking a potential partner.

How to make sure your mail order bride is real?

The selection of mail order bride countries is huge, but you should be careful when searching for a potential life partner. Even though international dating sites have strong data protection systems, this industry is still a sweet spot for fraudsters. This is how you can make sure whether a woman you’re communicating with is real:

  • Offer her to connect via a video chat. A real woman won’t refuse to use a webcam on mail order bride websites, and a scammer will always find a reason why they can’t do that.
  • Check her profile pictures. If you notice that pictures aren’t just photoshopped but it also looks like objects or background were taken from elsewhere, don’t trust that person. Besides, try googling her photos. Scammers usually steal pictures of beautiful girls from the Internet or other people’s social networks.
  • Ask questions. Normally, you’d like to get to know a girl better. However, if during a conversation you recognize that the facts don’t match, she forgets what she told you earlier, her answers don’t fit the context, or her profile on mail order bride platform, it’s a fraudster.
  • Don’t send any money. In case you use mail order bride services, and Russian brides beg you to help them cope with some financial issues, it’s a sign that someone wants to cheat you. Even though her stories seem real and sad, like a dying family member or severe disease, it’s a lie.
  • Be suspicious when everything moves too fast. If a woman on a mail order bride site starts flirting with you right away and proposing switching to a more intimate communication, that can be a scammer. She may also offer you to pay for her naked photos or anything else.
  • Don’t share your personal data. Once she asks you to exchange contact information or even needs your social security number for some reason, don’t continue a conversation with her. Be careful, and no one will reach your banking account or steal your identity.
  • Be careful if her page seems too good to be true. When, for instance, Russian women from a mail order bride service identify themselves as the top models, celebrities, or Ural beauty queens, beware of this red flag. They might also have much in common with you, from shared interests to goals, but it’s just a try to cheat you.

Anyhow, finding mail order brides through reliable international marriage agencies is effective and satisfying in most cases. But if you notice anything suspicious, inform customer support.

How to make sure your mail order bride is real

How much do mail order brides cost?

Of course, it’s impossible thing to buy mail order brides, but it’s also impossible to find a wife online free. Western guys have to pay for different services, including international dating sites, traveling, a fiance visa, and wedding organization. Below, you’ll find out prices for seeking and marrying local women from different countries.

Online expenses

Mail order brides sites are paid, although registration and some offered features are accessed for free. On most dating sites, the starting price is $3–$4. Considering that chatting, sending stickers, and picking virtual gifts are fee-based, you’ll spend around $200 per month.

Offline expenses

Those expenses will include traveling, courting a foreign bride, and getting a fiance visa. Discover detailed calculations next.

Visiting your girlfriend

As it was mentioned above, when you date one of the Latin, Asian, or Eastern Europe mail order brides, you’ll have to meet your lady in person. The following costs involve a 1-week trip with tickets, accommodation, dining out, and entertainment:

  • Asia–$2,000
  • Europe–$1,400
  • South America–$1,000.


When you find the girlfriend of your dreams through a mail order brides service, you’ll have to impress her. Use real gift delivery, pay for language courses, and organize something interesting for your woman. The total sum of courting varies from case to case, but approximately, you’ll spend $500–$1,000.


An application fee is $265, and the processing price is $535. So, the cost is $800, but some additional expenses can appear. For example, the amount of money for medical examinations can be different across regions.

Wedding expenses

Celebrating mail order marriages doesn’t cost more than organizing regular weddings. If you plan a budget party and engagement ceremony, $10,000–$20,000 will be enough for you. No doubt that it’s up to you how many guests to invite, which services to choose, and where to arrange everything.

In general, a mail order bride cost is $15,000–$20,000 if you have a budget wedding. Typically, men pay less for getting wives from Eastern European countries and Latin America than from Asia.

How to legally bring a mail order bride to the US?

You have to follow mail order brides legal regulations, which means that your foreign partner will have to get a fiancee visa. The following steps are involved:

  1. Filing the petition. Whether you find a potential spouse among Latin, European, or Asian women, you’ll have to become a sponsor and complete Form I-129F.
  2. Approval. You’ll get a case number, and your petition will be sent to the US Embassy or Consulate in a region where the girlfriend you’ve met through mail order brides services lives.
  3. Applying for a visa. When you receive a letter from the NVC, inform your woman that she’ll have to prepare for the interview.
  4. Collecting the necessary documentation. A Mail order spouse has to bring the following:
  • Completed Form DS-160;
  • Valid passport;
  • Divorce or death certificate if she was married previously;
  • Police certificates;
  • Medical examination;
  • Financial support evidence;
  • 2 photos 2×2;
  • Evidence of relationship.
  1. Interview. A lady you got acquainted with on a mail order bride site will have to come to the nearest US embassy. An officer will ask certain questions and make a decision the same day or later. They may ask for providing additional evidence of your romance and request it.
  2. Arrival and marriage. You’ll have to register your relationship within 90 days after your partner comes to the USA.

Notice that an officer will ask tricky questions during an interview to identify fake intentions as there are many mail order spouses illegal affairs. For instance, in the movie, Diana tried to pretend to be another person, but Baue noticed that she differed from a girl he knew by letters. So, an interviewer can also quickly figure out whether there’s something wrong with your foreign bride or the entire situation.

How successful are mail order bride marriages?

Mail order bride marriages really work and most couples carry their feelings throughout their life. But if you’re still guessing whether you should look for a foreign bride online, check out the statistics:

  • The rate of intermarriages keeps increasing. 17% of newlyweds involve a partner of a different ethnicity. For your information, way back in 1967, only 3% of Americans had a spouse from abroad. Latin (27%) and Asian mail order brides (29%) are more likely to share their lives with someone of another nationality.
  • Online dating is a thing worth trying. Seeking a girlfriend on mail order bride websites is a good idea for many reasons, and the numbers speak for themselves. 11% of couples who have been together for 10 years or so met virtually, and 23% of the Pew Research Center responders say that they got acquainted with their partners on the Web.
  • The divorce rate is optimal. According to the research, 41% of marriages with a mail order bride can end up in separation 10 years after the wedding. At the same time, the marriage-to-divorce ratio is 3:1 meaning that there are 3 married ladies to 1 divorced.

Mail order brides services are an excellent option for finding a life partner. According to the movie, Diana and Baue got through all the difficulties and stayed together. So, remember that whatever the circumstances are, true love will always win.


There are many parallels between the “Mail order bride” film and real life. Anyhow, the mail order bride industry evolved over time, and today, singles can use a more effective way to look for potential partners. Of course, online dating isn’t free and you’ll have to spend money on visiting your lady, but you get so many benefits. Whether you want to meet Filipina mail order brides, women from European countries, or even Latinas, you can achieve your goal. So, if you’re ready for something serious and want to find love like the characters in the movie, give mail order bride services a try!